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Tuesday, November 10 • 7:30pm - 7:30pm
Ethical Dilemmas in an Open Technical Communication Textbook: Lessons in Audience Awareness

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Sarah Lambert provided us with a thorough analysis of OER literature, resolving that it is “aligned to social justice principles, starting with the first UNESCO definition of [OER]” (2018). Open education is both grounded in and positioned well for social justice progress, in more ways than one. But what happens when your attempts to challenge students with analyzing social justice issues in your OER are flagged for insensitivity by students?

When the Open Technical Communication team began development of its highly successful textbook, we were working to achieve social justice-oriented goals both explicitly and implicitly. Explicitly, we were working to create a resource that would provide an essential skill to anyone who wished to gain it, regardless of social status. With textbook adoption in at least 14 states and large download numbers in other countries, this initial goal has been and continues to be met.

On the other hand, we worked to make our text inclusive and representative of the wide variety of people and cultures in the U.S.—with encouragement to readers to learn about and respect global cultures. We were surprised, then, when one of our ethics case studies was flagged by a student as insensitive. Based on real events, these case studies were provided in the textbook as a way for faculty to touch on ethical problems related to social justice issues, such as mascots named after Native Americans and discrimination against people on the basis of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. These case studies of unethical behavior were designed so that students were challenged to analyze them and propose ethical solutions.

Hodgekinson-Williams and Trotter advocate for “’re-acculturation’…which would respect alternative epistemic positions and acknowledge alternative authorities on what is considered to be worthwhile knowledge and dispositions” (2018). In this video, we will raise the question of how to share ethics cases in this rapidly changing cultural environment that is the U.S. while also respecting that some examples may be too close to home for a student to analyze objectively.

Lambert, S. R. (2018). Changing our (dis)course: A distinctive social justice aligned definition of open education. Journal of Learning for Development, 5 (3).
Hodgkinson-Williams, C. A. and Trotter, H. (2018). A social justice framework for understanding open educational resources and practices in the global south. Journal of Learning for Development, 5

Learning outcomes:
  • Participants will be able to identify various definitions of open educational resources and how they relate to social justice
  • Participants will be able to identify an OER titled Open Technical Communication
  • Participants will be able to describe the complications of ancillary materials that asked students to analyze ethical dilemmas
  • Participants will be able to explain the lessons the creators learned about levels of social justice in open educational resources

Speakers
avatar for Tamara Powell

Tamara Powell

Director, KSU CHSS ODE, Kennesaw State University
student success in online courses, teaching online, faculty development for online and hybrid teaching, instructional technology, how much they love their pets, favorite beaches, dancing to '80s music
avatar for Tiffani Reardon

Tiffani Reardon

Affordable Learning Georgia Program Manager, University System of Georgia
Talk to me about: instructional design, tech com/writing, accessibility, oer, open pedagogy, dogs, cats, geek stuff


Tuesday November 10, 2020 7:30pm - 7:30pm EST
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  Social Justice, Lightning Talk